Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

On a very wet Monday afternoon, staff from SALCTG West institutions visited the RCPSG Library. RCPSG is unique in being the only UK medical college for both physicians and surgeons, while also containing a Dental Faculty, a Faculty of Travel Medicine and a Faculty of Podiatric Medicine. Its collections reflect this, and comprise not just books but also museum artefacts and archive material. We soon forgot the weather as we toured room after room of treasures. This is the Lower Library where we got our first glimpse of the historic book collection and of some interesting items such as an amputation set and a 19th century enema kit.

The College was founded in 1599, though it has "only" been in its current home on St Vincent Street since 1862 - further history can be read on its website.The Hall, shown here, proudly displays the foundation date. It's very grand and full of portraits of the great and good of the College - all men of course.

 It was then a surprise to move into the Alexandra Room which looked traditionally feminine and had portraits of two women, both royal - the eponymous Princess Alexandra and Princess Diana, a former patron. The College also collects other paintings, including the winners of a prize it sponsors at the annual RGI exhibition.
We then visited the more modern library where we enjoyed tea and biscuits - chocolate, the way to a librarian's heart - and a chat before looking at the Rare Book Room and finishing with a Rare Book Room shelfie!
Thanks to Carol, Clare and Andrew for showing us round. If this brief post has inspired you to want to know more you can follow the Library's blog and find it on Twitter @RCPSGlibrary.

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